March 8, 2013
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HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — A 25-10 run spanning halves sent Nebraska to a 76-61 victory over the University of Iowa women’s basketball team in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Big Ten Tournament.
With the score 25-24 in the Huskers’ favor, Nebraska closed out the first half with a 9-0 spurt, which included a 3-pointer by Rachel Theriot with eight seconds left to take a 34-24 lead into the break. Nebraska then doubled up Iowa, 14-7, over the first five minutes of the second half to break open a 48-31 lead.
“That was momentum for them,” said UI head coach Lisa Bluder of the 3 to end the first half. “You’re suddenly down 10, and it sounds and looks a lot worse.”
The Huskers stretched their lead to 20 points (62-41) at the 9:30 mark, and they led by as many as 27 with 4:54 remaining.
Junior Theairra Taylor led a pair of Hawkeyes in double figures, finishing with a career-high 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting and a 4-of-6 performance from 3-point distance. Sophomore Melissa Dixon finished with 18 points, making 6-of-12 shots and 4-of-8 3-pointers.
Nebraska’s defense took away Iowa’s interior scoring, limiting Iowa’s front court to eight points with seven shot attempts. The Huskers limited the Hawkeyes’ big three — Morgan Johnson, Jaime Printy and Samantha Logic — to 18 points on a combined 12-of-35 shooting.”
“Nebraska does a super job of help-side defense,” said Bluder. “When Morgan got the ball she usually had three people around her. You need other people to pick it up because if they take one thing away, they give another opportunity to you, and we didn’t take advantage of the other opportunities.”
Iowa shot 38.3 (23-of-60) from the floor and was 8-of-26 from long range; Nebraska shot 46 percent (29-of-63) from the field and was 35 percent from behind the 3-point line. The Huskers out-rebounded the Hawkeyes, 44-30, and had a 38-18 advantage in points in the paint.
“I am pretty disappointed in our rebounding,” said Bluder. “They had 18 second chance points. That’s a lot of high percentage shots. The paint points we gave up were atrocious. You can’t give up 38 points.”
Hooper led a pair of Huskers in double digits with 24 points on 10-of-20 shooting to go along with three 3-pointers. Guard Lindsay Moore scored 13 points and had six assists. Eight Nebraska players scored.
“Hooper was coming off a lot of screens, and we were just a second too late,” said Taylor. “She can get her shot off really quick.”
The Huskers jumped out to an 11-4 lead over the first five minutes before Iowa start hitting its shots. After making 1-of-5 attempts to open the game, the Hawkeyes made five of its next seven attempts to take a 14-11 lead at the 9:23 mark.
A 10-3 Nebraska run put the Huskers back on top 21-17 with 6:10 to go in the half, but Taylor scored five straight Hawkeye points, including a 3-pointer at the 4:59 mark to make the score 25-24. The field goal was Iowa’s final basket of the first half.
Iowa shot 39.3 percent (11-of-28) from the floor and 15.4 percent (2-of-13) from long range; Nebraska was 14-of-32 (43.8 percent) and 4-of-11 (36.4 percent) on 3-point attempts.
The Hawkeyes (20-12) now will await Selection Monday to see their NCAA Tournament fate.
“We have 20 wins, we have a 30 RPI, we have a strength of schedule in the 20s,” said Bluder. “We’re not even a bubble team in my opinion.”